Life got a little bit harder for General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) Monday.

If you recall, back in April, General Dynamics' Information Systems and Technology division was named as one of eight companies -- and the only publicly traded company of the eight -- winning the right to participate in the U.S. Air Force's NETCENTS-2 program. NETCENTS-2 is an umbrella program funding purchases of off-the-shelf commercial products such as networking equipment, servers/storage, multimedia, and software for the U.S. Air Force's Internet Protocol Network. It was a big contract opportunity for General D, as the heavyweight contender bidding against seven smaller rivals to win a potential $6.9 billion in USAF contracts.

Well, on Monday, the Air Force named another eight companies as having the right to compete for task orders under NETCENTS-2. immixTechnology, Blue Tech, Micro Tech, and Red River Computer -- General Dynamics' new competitors -- aren't exactly household names. But now there are twice as many of them bidding against General Dynamics for a share of the U.S. Air Force's dollars and NETCENTS.

Meanwhile, neither the size of the contract ($6.9 billion) nor its duration (six years, comprising a three-year base period and three year-old options) has been increased.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Dynamics. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.